Ruin memories

I have just received a copy of World Crisis in Ruin; the Archaeology of the Former Soviet Missile Sites in Cuba from Mats Burström, Anders Gustafsson and Håkan Karlsson. Another fascinating archaeology of the contemporary past. The 1962 Missile Crisis is a well-known episode in the Cold War and twentieth-century history. It is documented in…

elements of a theory of ruin

A wonderful talk this evening from Alain Schnapp in our Archaeology Center. It was about “ruin” as an intellectual artifact. Through a kaleidoscope of quotes and vignettes about ruin from antiquity to modernity, Alain reflected upon broad human experiences at the heart of our sense of history, memory practices, collection, temporality. Goethe among the ruins…

Mike Pearson – theatre/archaeology

Mike Pearson died last week. He was a performance artist, theatre director, theorist and philosopher, scholar and teacher. And, as composer John Hardy said, Mike collaborated and connected – visual design, architectural stagecraft, poets, playwrights, composers, experimental jazz musicians, dancers, disability & gender specialists, comics, community art conveners, museum curators, traditional Japanese theatre performers, Patagonian farmers,…

On the politics of (museum) exhibition

More about the future (potential) of museums I was at a very thought provoking talk today at Bard Graduate Center [Link]. Yannis Hamilakis told us about an exhibition he has helped curate that is currently running at Haffenreffer Gallery, Brown University USA. It is called Transient Matter: Assemblages of Migration in the Mediterranean. Yannis leads…

Anselm Kiefer’s archaeological sensibility

Four new works from Anselm Kiefer go on exhibition at Gagosian Le Bourget, Paris, February 7. Marvelous manifestations of the archaeological imagination – [Link] What interests me is the transformation, not the monument. I don’t construct ruins, but I feel ruins are moments when things show themselves. A ruin is not a catastrophe. It is…